It’s hard to find someone that truly inspires you. I have a few: my mother’s dear friend from high school, Margaret, who is a treasure of a woman, noble and gentle and good, my friend that I’ve had since I was three, Mary, who to this day, despite all her struggles, retains a strength of spirit and character rarely found today. Each time I speak to these women, I am humbled and honored to have them in my life. They are ever a reminder of what I can strive to be.
Sometimes, these women are found in other places. Whenever I read Esther or Ruth, I can’t help but be humbled by the challenges they faced and the grace in which they met them. I get so drawn into their lives that I imagine potential scenes between them and their husbands. Even Pontius Pilate’s wife, though she appears for just a moment in scripture, is one to call curiosity to the fore with her courage and wisdom as she pleads with her husband to have nothing to do with the man from Nazareth, who the Jews want killed.
What sort of woman has the courage to try and win a king’s love then to dare with that love to save her entire people like Esther? Though the bible doesn’t state it, I often imagine love blossoming from the unexpected union of Ruth and Boaz with a woman so loyal and sweet as her and a man so honorable and kind as him. And what of Pilot’s wife who dares to believe a vision and bring it to her husband, trusting that he will not rebuke her for interrupting his affairs with such “foolishness?” What must have their relationship been like?
After reading about these women, I look at my own life and think about how much more I could create in my marriage, life, and world if I had half the courage, gentleness, or faithfulness of these women. How much better would my future outlook be if I possessed half the humility and strength of Margaret and Mary?
How about you? What women of old or in your own life inspire you? What men awaken in you the part that wants to accomplish great things and make a difference in the world?